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Offer Member Testimonials
Out to recruit more members? Consider
the ways in which testimonials from
existing members can give rise to new
In addition to serving as your best
sales force, testimonials provide yet
another way for members to become
involved and more committed to your
Explore the various ways in which
your current members’ testimonials can
be used to recruit others:
1. Have existing members speak to a
group of prospective members.
Whether it’s a gathering with the
expressed purpose of recruiting
members or a speaking engagement
for a civic organization provided by
one of your members, incorporate
public testimonials into your
2. Include printed testimonials in
membership brochures. Used
sparingly, brief testimonials, along
with a photo of those providing
them, can provide an effective
means of inviting others to join
3. Use existing members to initiate a
membership recruitment campaign.
Before you kick off your campaign,
spend time with recruiters
discussing why others would benefit
from membership. Doing this will
provide your recruiters with helpful
testimonial messages and will help
motivate them to bring in new
members as well.
4. Pitch the media an occasional
human interest story that includes
member testimonials. Whatever
your story’s focus, incorporate
quotes from existing members that
enforce the worthiness of your
organization and why it’s great to
be a member.
Know Which Member Benets Matter Most
How do you go about determining which benefits members most value?
“In addition to conducting surveys and focus groups, collect and review data that
reflects which benefits are most often used or redeemed by your members. If you
don’t currently have a way to track that, investigate how you can put that tracking
into place in a way that still makes it easy for members to use. Is there a trackable
link for the benefit on which you can compare click-through rates? Is there a unique
code that members can use on your website or on partners’ websites? When I
worked for ArtsWave, we had a special website for our ArtsPass membership
program. We could track how many users redeemed different offers, so we always
had a sense of which ones were most popular.”
— Rebecca Calkin, Media Relations Manager,
The Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland, OH.
Phone (216) 231-1111. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: www.clevelandorchestra.com
“Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) represents nonprofit
agencies that provide child welfare services — child abuse prevention, foster care
prevention and family-based and residential foster care — so our members are
organizations and not individuals. That said, organizations are comprised of
individuals, and we need to know if they are dissatisfied with our services.
“We survey members every two years using a mix of quantitative and
qualitative questions to measure knowledge of and satisfaction with our services.
Information from this formal data collection is shared with our CEO, staff and
board for discussion and planning. If responses from a member agency indicate low
satisfaction in many areas, or a benefit we offer is scored low by many members, we
take action. We use the responses to talk with members to see where we went wrong
and seek input on how to improve. Surveying on alternate years helps us make the
most of limited resources and maintain higher response rates.
“Between surveys, we informally measure satisfaction by assigning a subset of
members to each staff member — some by geography and others by the agencies’
program array. We check in with our agencies often, especially if a member hasn’t
had staff attending in-person meetings, conference calls or other activities regularly.
We understand less active members may ‘drift away,’ which is why we try to address
problems or service deficiencies before they choose to drop membership.”
— Mary Jane Dessables, Director of Information, Research and Accountability,
Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies, New York, NY.
Phone (212) 929-2626. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.cofcca.org
Employ Simple Tool to Remember Would-Be Members’ Names
You’re at a business luncheon, company picnic or other function and meet someone who
may make a good member. What do you do? Do you write down the person’s name and
call him or her in the next few days? Or do you have good intentions but forget to follow up?
Develop a simple “names to remember” form such as the one shown here. As
you think of individuals, have names referred to you or meet potential members,
record their names and additional information on the form as a way to ensure
Provide staff, board members and other key players in
your organization with copies of the form to help them
identify candidates and return the forms to you periodically
(e.g., at monthly meetings). Doing so reinforces the
importance of identifying new members and taking steps to
see they are formally invited to join your organization.
Review names with staff to collectively decide how to
approach candidates. Be sure to add names to your database
to receive printed communications and invitations.
NAMES TO REMEMBER
DATE PROSPECT’S NAME SUBMITTED BY NEXT STEP BY WHOM BY WHEN